Baby Your Baby: Picking the Right Daycare

Those first few weeks after you bring the new baby home go by fast. Before you know it, it's time to go back to work, and you need someone to take care of your child. Here's a daycare checklist to make sure to find the best fit for you and your little one.

New mom Sherri Moeser says, "The first day was pretty difficult for me and Adam. There were some tears on me and him, but I knew he would be in good hands." Seven-month-old Adam is Sherri's first child. Like all new moms, she feared the first day she had to drop him off at daycare. Her fears didn't last long after she found an in home daycare, with a licensed family childcare provider. "I wanted a place where he would have consistent care, so he would have one person watching him," Sherri says. "When I pick him up, I want to have one person I can ask how did he do today, what sort of things did he do today, things like that." That one-on-one contact was what helped Sherri and her husband make their decision. Childcare expert Charla Myers says, "You're going to look for something that's a natural extension of your home. Ask yourself is it a program that will support the traditions and rituals that you established with your child at home."

Before you make a daycare decision, a parent needs to visit a daycare several times and watch their child interact with the teacher and other kids to make sure they're comfortable. Here's a checklist to answer before you make a daycare decision. Look, visit several daycares and check their policies. Listen, not only to the teachers but to the other children to see how they like it there. Ask, check out the teacher's background. Count, see how many teachers and children are there. Be informed, check out information on the daycare facility. They're steps that Sherri made, and even though she misses not seeing Adam during the day, she knows she made the right choice. "It's still very difficult," Sherri says. "Of course our circumstances don't allow that I stay home but it's better than the first day. I know he's in good hands."

Of course, every parent has different things they're looking for in a daycare. The most important thing to remember is to make sure your child is happy there, and that you're happy with your decision.